Circulating Plasma DNA Could be a Viable Alternative to Tumor Biopsy

The diagnostic test, which has been validated in breast, lung, colorectal, skin, and prostate cancers, requires sample submission to Guardant's CLIA-certified laboratory. The test, currently priced at $4900, maybe covered by payers where genomic profiling is needed and conventional biopsy is not an option.

A new type of blood biopsy tracks the evolving genetic fingerprint of a patient’s cancer by measuring circulating tumor DNA in the plasma. The tool may be particularly beneficial for patients who cannot undergo conventional tissue biopsies.

Guardant360, a blood test that measures circulating tumor DNA, is one of nearly a dozen “liquid biopsy” assays now available or in development in the United States. In studies presented at oncology meetings in summer and fall 2014, researchers reported that Guardant360 accurately assesses the genomic profile of a tumor, using 54 clinically actionable genes. Oncologists can use this information to identify tumor-specific genomic alterations that can help drive treatment options.

Read the complete article in ClinicalOncology: